Yes! You can make roasted frozen cauliflower, and it comes out wonderfully caramelized and very flavorful. You just need to be patient - it takes a bit longer compared to fresh.
I'm so very grateful for frozen vegetables! Produce is always a bit of a struggle, isn't it? You try to buy enough to last you about a week, no waste, no spoilage. But despite your best intentions, fresh produce doesn't always last for the entire week.
That's when frozen vegetables swoop in and save the day! They are always there in the freezer, awaiting their turn patiently. And when I'm out of fresh veggies, I'm always grateful to have them on hand. They are just so convenient!
But... can you roast them?
Yes! It's pretty obvious that one can use frozen cauliflower to make mashed cauliflower or microwave cauliflower. But as it turns out, it's perfectly doable to make oven-roasted frozen cauliflower, and it's very very good!
As long as you're patient and let it slowly caramelize in a 400-degree oven, you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous, browned, very tasty vegetable. The only difference between frozen and fresh is that the frozen doesn't crisp up as well as fresh. It's tender and buttery. But it's VERY good.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Frozen cauliflower: I use two 1-lb. bags of cauliflower florets. They're typically not all the same size - in fact they greatly vary in size - but that's fine. Don't worry about it.
Olive oil spray: I use it to spray the pan as well as the cauliflower florets. You can use olive oil - I simply like the convenience of spray, and the way it evenly coats the veggies.
To season: I use kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
How to roast frozen cauliflower
It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your very first step is to preheat your oven. You want it set to 400°F - so that's a hot oven, but not super-hot. This is a good temperature for slowly caramelizing the outside of the vegetable while making the inside nice and tender, almost buttery.
Next, scatter the florets over a parchment-lined, olive-oil-coated rimmed baking sheet. Spray the florets with oil and season them with the spices.
Bake the cauliflower until it's golden brown. In my oven, this takes 45-50 minutes. I would start checking after 40 minutes just in case.
How to serve roasted frozen cauliflower?
It's a very versatile side dish that works with so many main dishes! But since I cook it in a 400-degree oven, I like to serve it with an entree that I can cook in the same oven. So I often serve it with one of the following:
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few ideas for changing up the basic recipe:
- You can use melted butter instead of olive oil. It's very tasty!
- You can use dried oregano instead of thyme.
- If you like your food spicy, a pinch of cayenne is very good.
- During the last 15 minutes of roasting, you can sprinkle the florets with grated parmesan.
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. Or enjoy them cold in salads. They make a great addition to this simple arugula salad.
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Roasted Frozen Cauliflower
- Olive oil spray
- 2 lb. frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with olive oil.
- Arrange the frozen cauliflower florets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. They won't all be the same size - that's OK. Don't worry about it.
- Spray the florets with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
- Bake the florets until golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Serve immediately.